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Genji is the son of the emperor and his favourite concubine, Kiritsubo. A Korean sage predicts a brilliant future for Genji but his mother suffers the jealousy of rivals at court, becomes ill and dies. The distraught emperor eventually finds another concubine, Fujitsubo, who reminds him of his former love. Same shit, different day, even in the 10th century.

Genji becomes an uncommonly handsome and gifted young man. The first part of the story sees Genji laying the foundations of a reputation as a player of great accomplishment. This boy has skills at getting ladies to unloosen their long hair and remove the wooden pillows from the bed. Genji's bed hopping gets him into trouble, daddies start to get miffed, banish him from court life and send him to live in exile for several years. Even in exile, Genji keeps macking.

I will not tell you any more, would ruin the story for those who take it up. This really is one of the best books I have come across. Some say it is the first ever novel to have been written, so dream like and melancholy, the description of court life is bliss to my mind.

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